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Author Topic: Liaisons Dangereuses  (Read 1928 times)

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Offline Minxy

Re: Liaisons Dangereuses
« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2020, 08:40:13 pm »
We have a quick bite to eat under an ancient baobab tree on the banks of the river. So far it had been a brilliant day and we were enjoying the warm weather (32 degrees) as opposed to the freezing temperatures we had back home. We continued along the rocky river track which eventually met up with the border patrol route. The border patrol route is tarred, it is however in a dismal condition with many holes and washed away sections. Traces of barbed wire can be seen, but the double electric fence which once protected our border is no more.






Zimbabwe, it's right there! Should have put the big saddle bags on our bikes so we could smuggle them cigarette's.










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Offline Hondsekierie

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Re: Liaisons Dangereuses
« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2020, 08:40:48 pm »
Daai rivier is vrot van die plathonde! Was weer die week daar gewees vir werk. Beautiful! Kan net imagine hoe lekker die riding moes wees

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Yip, en seekoeie.  In die aande het die plathonde se oe soos lanterns in die rivier geskyn. 

Dis n shit crazy plek daai, veral met die gebrul van die een mannetjiesleeu wat nou oor is.  Kan nou nog moeilik sluk daaran dat die fokken gemors 12 x leeus daar vergiftig het - en die Chinese sit agter alles.
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
I love not Man the less, but Nature more"
 

Offline Minxy

Re: Liaisons Dangereuses
« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2020, 08:51:01 pm »
As we follow the border patrol road to the where it meets the Nwanedzi River again we also face our first obstacle. The double bridge over the river had been swept away and was never rebuilt. We looked around and didnt see a safe place to cross. We did however find another gate which took us deeper into the farm. We eventually get to a spot where we see jeep tracks crossing through the river. We get off of our bikes to investigate first. We really didnt want to drown the bikes, or worse, get eaten by a flatdog! After successfully crossing the deep river we leave the farm via yet another gate and presto, we pop out on the other side of the broken bridge. With nothing more than a vague line and a GPS coordinate for Jacks Pass guiding our way, it is exciting figuring out where to go and traversing all the unknown tracks.



















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Offline Minxy

Re: Liaisons Dangereuses
« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2020, 08:58:31 pm »
We continue on the tarred patrol road for a number of kilometres along no mans land, which is also known as the Madimbo corridor.  Back in the 1960s the previous government removed the Gumbu, Sigonde, Bend Mutale, Tshenzhelani, Masisi, Tshikuyu and Mutele communities from the area to create this buffer zone and to build the Soutpansberg Military Base. To this day the local people are disputing their claim to the fertile lands along the Limpopo River, but no clarity has yet been gained as to how this land will be divided.




What would border patrol duty be without wheelies?




The patrol route truly has seen better days.






Some remnants of the past.
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Xmas Xtreme - http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=233018.0 Hearts in the Desert -  http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=241236.0
 

Offline Minxy

Re: Liaisons Dangereuses
« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2020, 09:00:33 pm »


We see a couple of SANDF soldiers on patrol and stop to assure them we are not smugglers. They are all really friendly chaps from the Northern Cape that had been stationed there for over a month and honestly just couldnt wait to go home. They told us the road ahead is clear of all danger and we can safely proceed. I really do feel for these guys, they have an impossible task guarding a vast border with no border fence! As we continue down the patrol road a white bakkie speeds towards us. It was getting closer fast, showing absolutely no intention of slowing down! We both pull off to the side of the road to get out of his way, when suddenly he turns the vehicle down a bush path, not even slowing down for the turn. I nervously grip my handlebars and slowly exhale. I think we just dodged the smugglers
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Xmas Xtreme - http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=233018.0 Hearts in the Desert -  http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=241236.0
 

Offline Elmer Fudd

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Re: Liaisons Dangereuses
« Reply #25 on: August 02, 2020, 09:18:38 pm »
Looks like an epic trip!
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference"
Robert Frost,1874~1963
 

Offline Dunnes

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Re: Liaisons Dangereuses
« Reply #26 on: August 02, 2020, 10:02:32 pm »
Jislaaik, this has me incredibly excited. Cant wait for the rest. Thanks Minxy!
 
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Offline Oubones

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Re: Liaisons Dangereuses
« Reply #27 on: August 03, 2020, 05:57:36 am »
Good one, waiting for more.
 :sip:
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Offline KiLRoy

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Re: Liaisons Dangereuses
« Reply #28 on: August 03, 2020, 08:27:40 am »
So few ride reports of this part of the world. Well done you two :thumleft:
« Last Edit: August 03, 2020, 08:50:52 am by KiLRoy »
 
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Offline sidetrack

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Re: Liaisons Dangereuses
« Reply #29 on: August 03, 2020, 08:42:39 am »
So few ride reports of this part of the world. Well done you too :thumleft:
Limpopo is raw riding paradise  :thumleft:
Little by little, one travels far
J.R.R Tolkien

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Offline Bernoulli

Re: Liaisons Dangereuses
« Reply #30 on: August 03, 2020, 09:25:13 am »
 :thumleft:

Offline Minxy

Re: Liaisons Dangereuses
« Reply #31 on: August 03, 2020, 11:00:35 am »
Slightly shaken by the experience, but not enough to give up the task at hand, we keep on riding until we get to the Soutpansberg Military Base. A female soldier waves us through with a smile and I return her gesture with a big thumbs up. The dirt road goes right past the grounds of the base and progressively gets rougher as we head east. We are now officially on Jacks Pass, a pass shrouded in mystery. Rumour has it that the pass is named after former Recce and highly decorated soldier, Major Jack Greeff. I could however not get confirmation as to whether this is fact and we can only speculate that the pass was built during the 60s/70s when the area was militarized. The main purpose of the pass being to safeguard the area from poachers, smugglers and illegal immigrants. It quickly became apparent that the Commander wasnt joking when he said the pass had not been traversed in years. The pass is in an abysmal state and the path looks more like a goat track than a road. We reach a hill and on the ground are painted rocks spelling out Fort Ghost Pop. I nearly hit the floor laughing. Nothing here makes any sense! We briefly explore the area but when we couldnt find any signs of a fort or structure we pressed on.






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Offline punisher

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Re: Liaisons Dangereuses
« Reply #32 on: August 03, 2020, 11:19:29 am »
 O0 :thumleft: O0 :thumleft:
just wanna have fun , and ride ... and ....... ride
 

Offline Minxy

Re: Liaisons Dangereuses
« Reply #33 on: August 03, 2020, 11:57:04 am »
Not far into the pass we reach a majestic vista. My eyes strain to follow the road as it spirals down an awfully washed out, loose rocky path. It goes into a gully and then suddenly shoots up again steeply on the other side past a colossal tree. I immediately recognize the spot, this is exactly where our friends Skinny and Jolandi ran into trouble and had to turn around four years ago. This would be the crux of the pass. I was just too glad we picked the KTM 500s for this occasion, as the climbs to follow would be extreme to navigate on a larger bike. When things get tough I normally ride first so if I do get stuck, Johan is right there to lend a hand. This time though I nudge him to go first. It was not easy to pick the right line and we could not afford to make any mistakes and put ourselves in danger. Due to the remote location, non-existent cellphone reception, lack of help and medical facilities in the immediate area, a bad fall could lead to unthinkable consequences I put these thoughts out of my mind and wave at Johan to go. Experience helps him take the best line, avoiding the biggest rocks by keeping to his left and crisscrossing around obstacles as they stand in his way. Consistent throttle has him successfully reach the top of the hill where he stops and signals for me to come. I commit and ride through the washed out gully, up the steps of loose rocks, body taut as I navigate my way up the relentlessly steep climb. I stop next to Johan. I couldnt believe I made it without error as I looked back over my shoulder at the treacherous road below.













« Last Edit: August 03, 2020, 04:52:50 pm by Minxy »
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Xmas Xtreme - http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=233018.0 Hearts in the Desert -  http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=241236.0
 

Offline McSack

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Re: Liaisons Dangereuses
« Reply #34 on: August 03, 2020, 12:14:52 pm »
Too lekker.
Must say this reads much better on WD than in the mag article.
Thanks so much for going through all the effort

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Offline Minxy

Re: Liaisons Dangereuses
« Reply #35 on: August 03, 2020, 12:20:29 pm »
But wait, theres more! Ahead another loose climb, and another. More rocks, washed out roads and boulders for kilometer upon kilometer. We do not falter nor give up, taking each obstacle in our stride, sometimes having to find ways around as the road had been so deeply eroded. Trygve Roberts from Mountain Passes SA was right, a 4x4 vehicle will most definitely not be able to navigate this pass in its current condition, but we were still here to prove that a motorcycle could. After what felt like an eternity we stopped at a low water bridge in a sandy riverbed. There had been a lot of elephant dung this side of the pass and I suddenly remembered the wild animals we had been warned about. At this stage we were exhausted though and I really couldnt care whether the lions decide to eat us or not, we had to stop to rest!











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Offline Minxy

Re: Liaisons Dangereuses
« Reply #36 on: August 03, 2020, 12:53:38 pm »
It was the middle of the afternoon and the hot winter sun beat away at us. Johans water, all three litres of it, was nearly finished. I checked my GPS and it seemed we didnt have far to go. We pushed on again and we were both ecstatic when we finally reached the Kruger National Park fence. We had just ridden through the entire Madimbo corridor and successfully navigated Jacks Pass. Oh yeah, another feather in the cap! We follow the KNP fence line north up to the Limpopo River first. This is the closest well get to Crooks corner without going through the Kruger Park boundary, where motorcycles are not permitted.















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Ride Reports:
Xmas Xtreme - http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=233018.0 Hearts in the Desert -  http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=241236.0
 

Offline Minxy

Re: Liaisons Dangereuses
« Reply #37 on: August 03, 2020, 01:01:33 pm »
The route we planned for the day was slowly coming to an end as we followed the KNP fence towards the Pafuri gate where I got to take a ceremonious photo. I asked a surprised game warden whether they sold any cooldrinks and he pointed us in the direction of the nearest shebeen. Remembering we are back in civilization we got our masks back on shopped for some goodies as people stared at us with curious amusement. Sitting outside the shebeen we celebrated our achievements with an ice cold coke. What a day it has been! The way back was uneventful compared to our adventure earlier and we gradually made our back to Popallin Ranch. We looked at the colourful local houses built against the R525 and cross through the veterinary fence where we were waved on without having to stop.







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Ride Reports:
Xmas Xtreme - http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=233018.0 Hearts in the Desert -  http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=241236.0
 

Offline Minxy

Re: Liaisons Dangereuses
« Reply #38 on: August 03, 2020, 01:10:36 pm »
We conclude our day with a big bonfire and a lekker braai while watching the sun set yet again over Nwanedzi River. While watching the sunset from the comfort of my camping chair I reflected back on the day. Was it a bad idea to visit a militarized zone with live explosives, smugglers, lions and elephant during the middle of an international virus pandemic? Yes, it probably was. Was it worth it? Yes it definitely was. This area will see us again.


Beautiful palm trees at De Wet's Camp





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Ride Reports:
Xmas Xtreme - http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=233018.0 Hearts in the Desert -  http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=241236.0
 

Offline bud500

Re: Liaisons Dangereuses
« Reply #39 on: August 03, 2020, 01:24:32 pm »
And to think we were just across the road in Sigonde camp, that same week.
Trip looks awesome.
May the bridges I burn light the way...